After such an impressive performance last weekend, England have made very few changes to the team that will face France this Sunday.
Courtney Lawes came into the starting XV to replace the injured Maro Itoje, while Chris Ashton starts ahead of Jack Nowell, who has dropped to the bench.
This change on the wing has raised a few eyebrows amongst England fans on Twitter, as many cannot see what the Exeter man did to lose his starting place.
In a game where there were no bad performers against Ireland last weekend, Nowell had a great match and did what he was expected to do. The winger was often seen coming off his wing throughout the game and was a nuisance in the midfield. While Ashton is certainly a good replacement, this decision has still surprised a lot of the fans.
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Watch: Dan Cole speaks about scrum battle ahead of Six Nations game against France
Some have speculated that it is Ashton’s ties with France that may give him that slight tactical nouse, while also being an intimidating factor to the French team after a brilliant stint with Toulon, where he scored a record haul of tries in one season in the Top 14.
But many still feel that the Sale man is better suited to the ‘finisher’ role in the team over Nowell, but have conceded that this may be part of Eddie Jones’ mind games.
Meanwhile, the selection of Dan Cole and Ben Moon on the bench for England has gone down well amongst the fans, as the two scrummaging specialists will be able to negate an extremely powerful French pack in the latter stages of the match. France’s scrum started to get the upper hand over Wales towards the end of their match last week, and Jones will be aware of that.
However, it is the option to drop Nowell to the bench that has confused the fans the most.
This is what the fans had to say:
Dropping Nowell to the bench is a bit harsh.
— Domspicer (@domspicer) February 8, 2019
Nowell was as good as anyone last week.
— Richard Scott (@RichardJScott) February 8, 2019
Strong, assume Ashton for Nowell due to his recent French connection?
— bglbluesrugby (@bglbluesrugby) February 8, 2019
Harsh on nowell?
— Simon andrew (@allrugby87) February 8, 2019
I think Ashton for Nowell is a little mind game from Jones, I just hope he's not being too clever as Nowell was one of the stand out performers. That said Ashton won't play 80, Nowell will get a run.
— . (@HappyHerdwick) February 8, 2019
Strange to drop Nowell! Harsh too!
— Liam (@liamions) February 8, 2019
Nowell by far the better starter, Ashton by far the better ‘finisher’ #EddiesBack
— Callum ? ? (@CallumCouch) February 8, 2019
Jack Nowell much better than Ashton… Bad choice… But French team is bad so that should be OK…
— 82GeekMan (@RaynaudTristan) February 8, 2019
Ashton for Nowell is an odd choice. JN is a more complete player and he took a lot of workload off Farrell and Manu with his carrying in midfield last week
— Jon Ryves (@Knight_2359) February 8, 2019
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